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Classifying routine events and work accidents

People get hurt in accidents every day. For many individuals, unexpected accidents can take a hefty financial toll.

If the accident occurs while a person is at work, it may be possible for the party to receive workers' compensation. However, its classification as a work accident rather than a routine event is critical.

Work accident

In short, workers' compensation is coverage for injuries workers receive on the job. However, in North Carolina, the scope of this coverage is quite lean. According to the state's workers' compensation act, the injury must be unexpected and not an injury from performing a regular aspect of the job. Therefore, a slip-and-fall accident, which is not expected activity, would qualify, whereas a construction worker's back injury may not.

Routine event

Any accident that falls under a routine event does not qualify for workers' compensation. For this reason, it is important to understand this distinction. If an employee performs certain tasks regularly and an accident occurs, the accident is a routine event. There are only a few instances where such accidents may still qualify as work accidents. 

Distinguishing factors

Along with a clear injury type, a few additional factors can help distinguish between a work accident and a routine event if the accident can go either way. For instance, the cause of the event is a major determining factor. If an employee performs a regular task and the action exacerbates a condition or an additional aspect is added, such as a wet floor, then it may qualify as a work accident.

In cases where the distinction of the accident may not be clear, having strong supporting evidence may be critical. It may also prove beneficial to become familiar with the workers' compensation criteria of the company and the state.

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